Friday, December 23, 2005

Cell Phone Film Festival

Attention citizen journalists and budding filmmakers. Your cell phone movies are wanted for the Cellflix Festival for cellular short films. There's a prize, too. Not one of those metal statues to hold down your scripts so they don't blow out the window. This is cash money. Five grand. Yes, you could win $5,000 for goofing around with the video feature of your cell phone. Well, maybe you'll have to put a little creative effort into it.

What I'm talking about is the annual competition "dedicated to the development of creative content for mobile delivery." This is the lofty mission of Ithaca College in hosting their CellFlix Festival. It may not be Sundance. It may not be the Academy Awards. But for crying out loud, it's five large for a 30 second cell phone movie. And they laughed when you told them you could use your cell phone as a camcorder. Let's see how much they laugh when you flash that $5,000 grand prize money.

There are a few entry requirements. First, this is for student filmmakers. No professionals need apply. Sorry, Robert Redford. You're out. You, too, Michael Moore. You have to be a legal U.S. resident enrolled as a full time student in an accredited high school or college and between the ages of 13 and 22. George Lucas...out. Francis Ford Coppola...definitely out. Alfred Hitchcock? Don't worry about him. He's dead. So, with all the big guys disqualified how much competition can there really be?

Well, there might be considerable competition. Cell phones are ubiquitous on campus and many have digital cameras capable of shooting short clips. You know those nerdy kids that keep cracking each other up sending video clips back and forth? They've got their entries in already. You better hurry. You've only got till 8 AM EDT on January 10 to get yours uploaded for consideration.

Here are a few more rules. You must shoot your film using a cell phone or smartphone, but you can do the editing on a computer if you prefer. Any genre is acceptable. You can submit a documentary, drama, comedy, action movie or experimental film. Your time limit is 30 seconds and must include both sound and video.

Today, your cousin's cell phone screen. Tomorrow, the big screen. It could happen.

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